In Our Strange Gardens – The 52nd Book

December 30th, 2009 - written by

I’m really tired but also a little anxious and quite a bit relieved. Reggie and Bob weren’t doing it for me either. A commenter posited that it was so hard to find a book because #52 was supposed to mean something more, something to speak for the previous 51 books, to represent. And yes, I agree. I couldn’t choose a book that seemed appropriate for the final book.

I was avoiding reading In Our Strange Gardens because of it’s length. It’s only 80 pages when translated from French. How could I end the resolution with an 80 page book? But all day today I was telling myself that the resolution was over, that 51 had to be where it ended. I even got into bed telling myself it was over, you can relax now, it’s done and 51 is just fine. I hadn’t completed a book in almost a month.

Then I looked over at the book that my sister let me borrow and I just started reading. She really beamed up when she loaned it to me, and I still hear those words that I so often say to other people, “I can’t tell you why I loved it, I just did”. I guess that stuck with me.

So, resigned to failure I started reading the book and a few hours later I had it finished, and yes, it is a wonderful book. So simple and true, and much more full of life than other books with a higher page count with more to say that is quickly forgotten. But not here, not with these characters and these sacrifices and how the story is told, with the end at the beginning, the beginning in the middle, and the end back where you started the whole thing. And through this whole circuitous read you are totally engaged, and time fades away, and before I knew it, I had my 52 books.


Book Thoughts

2009 Reading In Review – The Numbers

December 29th, 2009 - written by

13,400 pages.
4,020,000 words.
20,100,000 total letters.
36 Pages Per Day
Total Spent on Books: $611.
Cost Per Page: $0.04.

SO Worth It

Book Author Week Started Finished Days Pages Rating
Born Digital Dan Palfrey 1 01-01 01-07 7 290 5
The Last Lecture Randy Pausch 2 01-08 01-10 3 206 7
Good To Great Jim Collins 3 01-10 01-20 11 218 6
Sparks Peter Benson 4 01-20 01-27 7 222 5
The Book Thief Markus Zusak 5 01-28 02-06 10 550 9
The Yankee Years Joe Torre 6 02-07 02-15 9 477 7
The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell 7 02-23 03-02 8 280 8
The Alchemist Paulo Coelho 8 03-02 03-03 2 167 8
On Writing Stephen King 9 03-04 03-11 8 288 10
The Elements of Style William Strunk 10 03-12 03-16 5 95 7
The Book of Dahlia Elisa Albert 11 03-17 03-27 11 276 5
Click Bill Tancer 12 03-28 04-01 5 203 6
Why People Photograph Robert Adams 13 04-01 04-05 5 182 7
The Minds Eye Henri Cartier-Bresson 14 04-05 04-06 2 105 7
Blink Malcolm Gladwell 15 04-06 04-12 7 276 8
Things I Have Learned… Stefan Sagmeister 16 04-12 04-13 2 248 6
When You Are Engulfed In… David Sedaris 17 04-13 04-18 6 323 7
A Year With Swollen Appendices Brian Eno 18 04-19 04-26 8 414 7
The Midnight Disease Alice Flaherty 19 04-26 05-01 6 266 5
Quirkology Richard Wiseman 20 05-03 05-06 4 277 7
A Sense of Urgency John Kotter 21 05-06 05-09 4 194 5
Eat Pray Love Elizabeth Gilbert 22 05-10 05-14 5 334 7
The Wisdom of Crowds James Surowiecki 23 05-14 05-21 8 284 6
Tribes Seth Godin 24 05-21 05-23 3 151 7
Possible Side Effects Augusten Burroughs 25 05-23 05-25 3 291 8
Look Me In The Eye John Elder Robison 26 05-29 05-31 3 295 7
Beginning Database Design Clare Churcher 27 06-01 06-13 13 228 8
Beginning SQL Queries Clare Churcher 28 06-13 06-23 11 210 7
Predictably Irrational Dan Ariely 29 07-03 07-13 11 333 7
Getting Real 37Signals 30 07-13 07-17 5 186 8
Words I Wish I Wrote Robert Fulghum 31 07-24 07-28 5 221 9
The World Without Us Alan Weisman 32 07-28 08-09 13 369 7
Man’s Search For Meaning Viktor Frankl 33 08-10 08-12 3 165 9
The Old Man and The Sea Ernest Hemingway 34 08-18 08-18 1 127 8
The Pearl John Steinbeck 35 08-18 08-19 2 90 7
The Fountainhead Ayn Rand 36 08-19 09-12 23 704 2
Book of Mormon Authorship Noel B. Reynolds 37 09-03 09-10 7 543 7
Homer & Langley E.L. Doctorow 38 09-12 09-16 5 224 7
Nurtureshock Po Bronson 39 09-16 10-10 25 352 6
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck 40 09-19 09-23 5 112 8
That Old Cape Magic Richard Russo 41 09-23 09-28 6 272 7
A Movable Feast Ernest Hemingway 42 10-10 10-11 2 211 9
Gilead Marilynne Robinson 43 10-11 10-15 5 247 7
The Accidental Billionaires Ben Mezrich 44 10-16 10-18 3 272 8
Indignation Philip Roth 45 10-19 10-22 4 256 6
Bounce Keith McFarland 46 10-22 10-23 2 166 7
Choice Theory William Glasser 48 10-30 11-16 18 340 6
StrengthsFinder 2.0 Tom Rath 47 10-30 10-30 1 174 6
The Accidental Masterpiece Michael Kimmelman 49 11-04 11-08 5 229 6
Ghost Alan Lightman 50 11-16 12-02 17 256 7
A Great and Glorious Game A. Bartlett Giamatti 51 11-21 11-24 4 121 7
In Our Strange Gardens Michel Quint 52 12-29 12-20 1 80 10

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